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A Journey into the History

13 octubre, 2017

Visit to the MVVS engines factory in Brno, during a participate of Cuban Control Line team in World Championship of 1974 in Hradec Králové, Czechoslovakia.

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By: Carlos Anido Crochet

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Juan Luis Fernandez and Bernardo Delgado, F2B Cuba team competitors , having a conversation with the North American champion of this Sub Class.

When the Iliushin- IL 18 that was carrying us from Prague to Brno., made the approach to the airport of that city, began to shake in all possible ways, I felt short minutes like hours, until I feel that we gained height again and the jumps were decreasing. Then we saw and heard the announcement that we would return to Prague, spent the night in a hard bench at the airport and the next day with no storm, we repeated the trip, this time for landing happily in Brno, getting off the plane, I saw the taxi way still wet from the recent storm.
While all this was happening I could not imagine how many important events would occur since our arrival to the Czech country, how much we would learn, how many tensions and how we would change forever.

Our sports delegation was composed by:


F2A Speed:
Manuel de Jesús Rodríguez Sánchez

Antonio Báez de la Nuéz

Carlos M. Anido Crochet
F2B Acrobatics:
Bernardo Delgado Bermúdez

Juan Luis Fernández Rodríguez

Rafael Díaz Crespo
F2C Team Racing:

Víctor M. Carrasco Morejón

Nelio Durán del Pino

Julio Benítez Villalta

Lorenzo Agrás Cuesta

Manuel Estrada Muñoz

Enrique Hurtado Alvarado
Team Manager:

Adolfo Álvarez García
Team Leader:

José Ferrón Díaz, plus a cameraman, completed our team.

Some background
In previous years in Cuba almost everything we used in Aeromodelling was MVVS manufacturing: Engines of different displacement for all destinations, all types and sizes propellers, glow plugs and other engine parts. Balsa wood and several accessories were bought in England, everything you need to use, develop, and also to waste. But was this the reason that before going to Hradec where would celebrate the championship, previously we pass by Brno.? Yes, somehow, but then I began to understand that this was not the only reason to travelling days before and make that stay in the MVVS factory.

I knew that 2.5 cc Diesel MVVS engines were considered the best popular of the world in the 60s and even early 70s, as was evident in the Czech Team Racing competitors Tmka- Drazek, engines very able to compete and win in major events in Team Racing category and that Glow 2.5 engines had done much to half of the 60s in the speed category, when still competing at non-pipe. Also that 5.6 cc aerobatic engines were well known, but, specifically, what we did in Brno.?

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Team Racing 2.5 cc Diesel engine

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Famous Czech Orion Model powered with MVVS engine, Tmka- Drazek team.

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Speed 2,5cc Glow engine

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Josef Sladky (El Maestro), competing with his own MVVS speed engines

We were taken to the place where we were staying, “Avión Hotel”, a narrow building only used it to sleep, but I found it quite comfortable. We all gathered in front of the hotel and I found a familiar face watching us carefully. Who could I know in this remote place? And upon entering the hotel I began to realize that the person who was waiting for us and looked us carefully, I knew him for having seen his photographs in several Aeromodelling magazines. Finally we were introduced, he would be our main host, he would be our coach and from that moment he would be with us all the time. It’s was about Josef Sladky, main MVVS factory technician, builder until that moment of all MVVS engines, technical heir of Zdenek Husicka one of the biggest manufacturers of Czech engines since before the 50s.

Sladky began participating in European events and world Championships since 1955 in Paris, climbing the awards podium for two decades, being one of the F2A precursors, continuer of the first pilots and constructors of speed under the new rules FAI, as was the Spanish Gorgocena, the English Whrite and others.

During all those years the Czech team led by Sladky used the SK 25, the Vltaban and the famous 2.5 RL engines, the last considered by many to be the engine of the future, competing against the best Super Tigre, Moki and K & B engines, plus homemade engines and hybrids by competitors of that moment. Known by many as “El Maestro”, we would have now the privilege of receiving from him a special instruction about the modification of our MVVS G7 normal distribution engines to resonance distribution to use in them also MVVS tuned pipe, and other specialty intimacies, such as fuel feeding systems preferred at that time, etc.

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Sladky & Pech- 1960- Model with MVVS 2.5 RL engine

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 2,5 cc MVVS RL Enegine

Then Antonio Báez de la Nuéz, Manuel Rodriguez and I, F2A Cuba team members, would be the lucky students of the teacher. Team Racing competitors received some advice from Milos Obrousky, who was testing the D7 engines, modified according to the style of our dear Victor M. Carrasco, who years later reached the International Sport Master category with another Cuban champion Nelio Durán del Pino, in 1977 in the Inter Aero Romania event, Milos liking to much the rework done, giving some instructions about fuel mix for Diesels. To the acrobats was not much to indicate about engines and fuel tanks, but the lucky pupils would be the three speedsters.

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Training for the World Championship, Antonio Báez (Ñico) helping me.

Inside the factory

Finally inside the factory we were introduced to Vera, a Czech lady with sweet face that would help us as interpreter. With her help we could talk with the Master of different topics, all related to engines, Tuned Pipes, fuel tanks, etc.
Sladky showed us models that were world champions in the 50s and some wood propeller carved by hand. He also showed us something more recent, an RL engine (prototype) with MVVS tuned pipe coupled to the engine exhaust with a gray colored resin called by Sladky as “Gupalón”. This engine was installed in a vintage white painted model of his property.

Finally we arrived to the place where we were going to work, a room with white slabs on the walls, as if before it had been a bathroom or a kitchen. A table desk near a window where we could see a small park or garden where Czechs took the sun, so appreciated in the short summer. Manual tools in drawers, in front of the desk a cabinet with shelves covered with a curtain that protected the different MVVS carters engines wood Jig for aluminum cast.
Then came an unknown character for us, who did not work in the factory but it was like a family to Sladky, he was presented to us as someone who would compete in Hradec and came to say hi from neighboring Poland: André Raswald, another F2A glory, we were introduced and the Master exchanged with him about F2A current fuel feed systems used at that time pressure taken from the Tuned pipes.

 Our first class

The Master had told us in advance to take our models to check them, he checked the engines more than the rest of the model, which in his opinion it had very little aerodynamics. Each one carried two complete models powered by MVVS 2,5 G7 engines, evaluated them one by one and considered necessary to replace some piston-sleeve groups, changing them for new ones to be re-worked in its resonance modification. He didn’t want to replace one of them and it was just the one I had modified in Cuba and hadn’t yet tested with tuned pipe., but had been running into free escape before being re-worked. The change was made in the exhaust port and in the crankshaft window of the engines chosen for each one of us, but I kept the sleeve I had prepared.

He asked to bring Bencin (gasoline) and after of reworked the sleeve´s and the crankshaft´s proceeded to wash and assembled them one by one, BUT! …

The Master carefully washed each ball bearing and then took time to each of them with a stopwatch by rotating on its inner cap with an improvised shaft and pushing them manually. He removed the slower or noisy one and sought a plastic tube filled with new ball bearing and also took them time, selected the ones that the most time were rotating and these was the one he used but we had not finished yet with this topic, in each engine he removed and put the crank, rotating it in gasoline until feel completely free. Now we can continue, he said. He told us that the freedom of rotation in an engine was probably the most important thing. He proceeded now to put  piston and sleeve with their resonance exhaust open timing and gave us integral plugs, Cox or Rossi type or manufactured in the MVVS factory inserts for Glow Heads.

Ready the engines, he showed us how to make fuel deposits (tanks), but with a new tuned pipe flow pressure system. Then he brought Silicone hoses for each model.

First tuned engine test
It was clear the new piston-sleeve groups installed on the engines needed running, there was only one of the engines that had an already well rolled group and that was mine, then the Master decided to test it in flight, so we did so using a black painter straight cones Tuned pipe made it in the MVVS factory. I adjust my engine with rich fuel mixture, because I didn’t forget what I read in articles written by Luis Parramón of Spain about the use of Pipes in Speed.

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Author’s speed model powered by the first engine MVVS 2,5 G7 cc (two channels) to resonance.

My model Take off, the tuned pipe and the engine began to make an almost musical sound but was a gradual transition to a resonance regimen. It remained like that during almost the whole flight, to accelerate dramatically in the last few laps. Despite not being this a high speed flight, was useful to show that those MVVS 2,5 G7 engines (two channels), could work under a resonance, although tests performed by Sladky in the same engines but with sleeve-piston groups of (three channels) of transfer, showed a better performance.

Upon landing I found our teacher much happier than I expected, apparently the results were good for a first flight. I also felt happy for many reasons and then I understand why we stay in Brno. with so much time in advance, the technical advice received was beginning to give us results.

Back to the factory Sladky talked with me and with some single words in English I asked him why MVVS factory not manufactured and marketed specialized engines or modified for Speed and the Master told me that the MVVS engines were engines for universal use with many conditions to be re-worked and intended for one or another specialty. Then he showed me a draft of an engine would be built in the future, a 2.5 cc engine of total currently with front induction, three transfer channels and 12 mm in diameter of crankshaft. This engine was the model GF.

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2.5 GF MVVS engine with 12 mm crank and 3 channels of transfer modified to resonance

When we arrived to Hradec Kralove he helped us all the time, I was realize a test stand runing in on the model airplane club flying field.

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MVVS (two channels) re-worked running in the Hradec Kralove flying field complex. Czechs watching the operation.

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Manolo fill my fuel tank before an official flight, Hradec Kralove WorldCamps 1974

On the event, the three competitors put on the handle over the pylon and did marks, thanks to the received help, our young speed team, did not look so bad in its first test with exhaust restricted engines in a world event.

During the celebration event, it happened many remarkable things worthy of mention, but I remember the most one, it was my meeting at the opportune moment with Juan Pacheco Storch, join to Luis Parramon Spanish Speed team member, a huge Catalan, not in stature but in personal values, who supported me when the Italian speed team wanted to flying without I still have picked up my flight lines, and have gone with all my stuff out of the flying circle. Juan not only helped me to pick up my lines, he also carried everything he could.

We returned to Cuba grateful for everything we have learned and lived in those days. Years later Sladky came to Havana, we met at the National Hotel, then he traveled into the island to fulfill a dream, spearfishing in Caribbean waters, he brought me as a present, Tuned pipes that I still keep.

This was the last time I saw and talked with the Master, by communication difficulties I never could know about him again even despite efforts. In 2005, when I could, I decided to send an e-mail to the MVVS factory, they replied saying that Mr. Sladky had died a year earlier..

Josep Sladky was a winner for being a champion on several occasions, a promoter and a precursor of his sport specialty, builder of famous engines by state way, but above of all was a teacher who worked hard all his life for others could learn and could also dream. His MVVS engines were not for their economic price for an elite group only, knowledge and initiatives were not lacking for him to design and build expensive record engines, however he and his partners in the MVVS factory made possible for many of us with modest resources develop sportingly and then we kept forever as a valuable collection object and of history our MVVS engine.

This is a modest tribute to the champion, to the Master, to the friend who is no longer, to the group of technicians who accompanied him in those years and current followers of the MVVS factory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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